Dáil Éireann - Volume 459 - 14 December, 1995

Written Answers. - Income Tax.

62. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Finance his views on the level and value of tax paid by farmers; the comparative figures by the PAYE worker; and if he will make a statement on his efforts to address this matter. [19020/95]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): As I told the House on 29 November 1995, the most recent information available is of income tax receipts on farming profits as well as tax collected under the PAYE system in the calendar years 1993 and 1994. This information is as follows:

Source

Net receipts of income tax

1993

1994

£m

£m

Farming Profits

55.0

66.5

PAYE¹

3,029.4

3,259.1

1 Including PAYE on employee income of farmers.

These figures do not include any yields in 1993 and 1994 under the 1993 tax amnesty. Also excluded from the calculations are tax receipts from deposit interest retention tax because it is not possible to apportion that tax between particular classes of taxpayers.

The amounts paid by each sector must be seen in the context of the relative numbers of taxpayers in the PAYE and farming sectors. It should also be noted that the amount attributed to the PAYE sector includes the tax paid under PAYE on the employee income of farmers. Such tax is included in the overall collection of PAYE and is not distinguishable until after the income tax returns submitted by farmers have been analysed.

An analysis of the returns for the [1841] income tax year 1992-93, the latest available, indicates that some £56 million in tax was paid by farmers, including farmers who have other trading income, or their spouses, under the PAYE system for that year.

Farmers are assessable to tax on farming profits on actual income on the same basis as other self-employed taxpayers. The normal self-employed allowances may be offset against farming profits as well as special provisions in relation to stock relief and income averaging. In common with other self-employed taxpayers, farmers are subject to the various compliance and audit arrangements which apply under the self-assessment system. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the evidence currently available from self-employed audits indicates that the compliance levels of farmers are comparable to those of other self-employed taxpayers.